The mountains to the South birthed the Black River. The rains fell on their smooth faces and rushed down in a mighty torrent, splashing down through the valleys and cuts, flowing towards the Green Sea. As the river traveled, it swallowed up the land, gorging itself with soil, sating its hunger. But it was not enough. It continued to devour, swallowing more and more as it traveled, until it could hold no more. As its journey brought it to the edge of the Green Sea, it opened its mouth and vomited up all the land it swallowed, staining its banks a deep black.
The river forgets its past and every year it gorges itself only to vomit up the soil upon meeting the Green Sea. It is here at its mouth that the People, make their life. The River’s gluttony feeds the plants that feed them. Its path moves their ships, food and goods. Its waters sustain their life.
Here, they plant their crops, harvest their grains, make and sell their wares, fight and love and kill and protect, all under the watchful eye of their God-Empress Nirtani. She walks with the God-Spirits as they counsel her in the care of their people. Some of the God-Spirits are her allies and others are her enemies. Despite it all, she manages to protect them each and every day from the many enemies that threaten the Kingdom of the Black River.
To the East, a small land-bridge leads to the realm of the Elves. They are a proud and hauty people who claim that the mouth of the Black River belongs to them. They bide their time, looking for weaknesses in the Kingdom and their God-Empress that they can exploit to ruin the Kingdom’s way of life.
Journeying to the West, one leaves the Kingdom and enters the Red Desert. These are the lands of the Orcs, a hateful race of nomads who roam the scorching sands, eeking out the meagerest of existences. They hate the People and no on is sure why. Every Orc anyone speaks with, should they survive the initial encounter, will cite some slight against the Orcish people as the root of the hate and no two stories will ever be the same.
To the South, into the rolling mountains which is the birth place of the Black River, no one journeys. All manner of monsters inhabit that land and none return who venture there.
Across the Green Sea, to the North, the Dwarves rule a land with all manner of strange and wonderful material and workings. They are masters of trade and shrewd negotiators.
Within the Kingdom live many beings. All manner of monsters, rat-folk, elves and dwarves are found amongst the numerous humans that form the core of the People. They live their lives in the strata of that society, worshiping the God-Spirits and fulfilling their duty to the God-Empress. It is a good life for most. The rest live and fight in the shadows, hiding from the watchful eyes of deity.
Black River is a fantasy setting I’m working on to take my fantasy gaming farther away that traditional Western fantasy.